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  1. #1

    Noob with a question...

    Hello all,
    My name is Nik. I am new here, and to sit down skis. I looked at quite a few forums and this one seemed to be the most friendly and informative. So, moving on to my question; My wife and I bought my son a stand up Kawi for his 13th birthday. I've owned many stand up skis, from JS440's/550's, a Kawi 750 and a Yamaha SJ650, but, had never owned(or even ridden, for that matter) a sit down ski. So, we bought the ski for my sons birthday and I started to look for a trailer locally. I was unable to sleep a couple of nights before my sons birthday thinking that it was irresponsible to put him out on the lake on a jet ski with no help, him having never ridden any jet ski before, sit down or stand up. So, I found a very nice Zieman two ski trailer that had a couple of SeaDoo's sitting on it. There was one '95 SPX w/ a 657cc engine and one '95 XP w/the 717cc engine. I was mostly interested in the trailer, but thought that it would be fun (and responsible) to at least get something that I could putt around on while my son learns the "ropes" on his new ski. I actually bartered for the whole lot; traded a gun that the guy was after for the trailer and both skis. Well, I can honestly say that I am hooked! I enjoyed riding my little 657cc SPX around with my son. The 717cc '95 XP was advertised as "broken down". It fired right up, but had kind of eaten its wear ring! So, I am going to buy a couple of wear rings and pump rebuild kits and get that ski on the water as well as going through the pump on the SPX. I had a blast on the SPX, but wanted more performance! I figure that the XP will be a bit faster, but I am likely going to want more. This will probably result in my needing to buy a nicer ski, rather than chasing performance with these two!

    But, I am curious on a couple of things.

    1) What are the best "bang for you buck" upgrades for these skis? Without making them unreliable or a tuning nightmare? Perhaps just sourcing a 717cc XP engine for the SPX? Ride plates/impellers? I want to be careful that I don't spend more money in upgrades than the skis are worth! Just looking to see if there are any reasonable and worth while upgrades to get a little more performance.

    2) What handle bar "bends" are folks using in aftermarket bars such as Renthal, ProTaper or the like? Seems like PWC specific bars are a bit more pricey than run of the mill MX bars. I was curious if anyone is running MX style bars, and if so, what "bends"?

    3) I am not really fond of the stock thumb lever throttle levers, and my handle bar pads are pretty rough. I want to switch over to a "BMX style" lever for my throttle. I have found the adapters specific for SeaDoos, but again, the PWC specific brand finger throttle levers are $30-$80 where-as actual BMX brake levers are readily available for $12-$25 for pretty nice levers. I actually even have some BMX levers kicking around. Anyone running actual BMX brand levers for their throttle? Any issues w/ these levers with reach or obtaining actual wide open throttle?

    Sorry for the long post and thank you for any help or advice! I can tell that this is going to turn into yet another expensive hobby for me!

    Nik C.


  2. #2
    Curious where you're located that a 13 year old can ride a ski by himself - in Ohio the kids have to be 16 and have a boaters license.


  3. #3
    1983's Avatar
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    -Congrats on the new purchases, I use the Pro Taper "YZ Low" bars in silver on my 96' XP. I like em. Made it easier to ride, and appearance changed greatly. I am using a blowsion finger throttle. Works decent but couldn't get full throttle angle without trimming out handlebar grip for full pull on carb butterfly.

    -Rob

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by raptorobbie View Post
    Curious where you're located that a 13 year old can ride a ski by himself - in Ohio the kids have to be 16 and have a boaters license.
    We live in AZ. Min age for child to ride PWC w/ greater than 8 HP is 12 Y/O.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by 1983 View Post
    -Congrats on the new purchases, I use the Pro Taper "YZ Low" bars in silver on my 96' XP. I like em. Made it easier to ride, and appearance changed greatly. I am using a blowsion finger throttle. Works decent but couldn't get full throttle angle without trimming out handlebar grip for full pull on carb butterfly.

    -Rob
    awesome! Thanks, Rob!

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Welcome

    You may want to choose a sit down model that your son can easily board as passenger in case he gets tired/hurt or the stand up dies in the middle of the lake.

    Some of the old school sit down machines can be rather tippy when not moving forward. Great fun for playing around on the water, not so much when you just want to stay upright with the engine off and help someone else.

    Reliability comes into play, of course. These older watercraft are only reliable when you take the time to go through them from end to end and check/rebuild/inspect/upgrade almost everything.


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Welcome

    You may want to choose a sit down model that your son can easily board as passenger in case he gets tired/hurt or the stand up dies in the middle of the lake.

    Some of the old school sit down machines can be rather tippy when not moving forward. Great fun for playing around on the water, not so much when you just want to stay upright with the engine off and help someone else.

    Reliability comes into play, of course. These older watercraft are only reliable when you take the time to go through them from end to end and check/rebuild/inspect/upgrade almost everything.
    Yeah, I understand those concerns. We spent a couple of days on the lake and had a blast. He and I both were able to climb up on the ski w/ no problems. I was jealous watching his very first time in the standup ski! He is 90 lbs. and was able to idle through the "no wake" zones sitting upright on his knees! About 5 min in he hit the gas and stood up, cruising around the lake effortlessly. to speak to the reliability, I have been reading all of the sticky's, have downloaded the service manual, ordered wear rings, pump rebuild kits, oil, bought a compression gauge and just bought about 40' of fuel line to replace everything on both skis. Going to sort through both skis, get them mechanically sound and then do some paint work.

  8. #8
    Awesome on the 12 year old deal - wish we were in AZ!! We have to be on board in order for them to drive when they're under 16. Have fun and b safe!!

  9. #9
    Well, I enjoyed these skis so much, that I started looking at upgrades and modifications that I would want to perform. Instead of upgrading the smaller engines, I ended up deciding to buy a '96 XP 800. It is a very clean, well maintained ski. It has very low hours and has been maintained by a shop that I know the owner of and trust. Brand new cover, brand new battery, new fuel lines and rebuilt carbs. It has a little bit of fading, but some elbow grease will fix that. I am going to swap to MX bars and a finger throttle on this ski, remove the factory stickers and do some accent painting. I think that it will be a perfect ski for my needs. Ill post up some pictures soon!
    Nik

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